Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and now Stuttgart – to name just a few! The Federal Ministry of Economics Affairs and Energy recently announced the launch of twelve digital hubs in Germany as part of its Digital Hub Initiative. The aim of the program is to foster collaboration between companies and business entrepreneurs, thus allowing them to work side by side in close quarters, similar to Silicon Valley. The program will also help fuel collaboration between the German startup scene and industry hotspots. An alliance of regional players, GFT Technologies SE and CODE_n among them, formed a consortium that nominated and qualified Stuttgart as a leading digital hub in Germany. The focus: the industries of the future! The Initiative is a great opportunity to bundle the strengths of the lively local startup scenes, international world market leaders and the excellent science in Germany!
A strong and dynamic network is the secret of many successful companies. Whether it is an enterprise, a mid-sized company or a startup, an extensive network assists with recruiting, client acquisition and – in the best case – funding.
One is not born as a networker; instead it is more some sort of an inner attitude, which enables a person to forge numerous new contacts. If you lack the attitude, you don’t have to be worried, like most other business-skills, you just need the right strategy and insides. Take the following tips by heart and harvest the advantages of an efficient business network:
1. Don’t let extraverts intimidate you
Extraverts go to an event and comeback with a stack of business cards and 3 coffee chats scheduled for next week. Don’t let them intimidate you. It is okay you only made one contact.
2. Showing your face matters
When you go to events and could not speak with anyone, you may feel like going to events are time consuming, torturous, and useless. But remember, showing your face matters. Just give yourself these simple goals and feel good about it.
3. Choose your game
There are gazillions of startup related events happening everyday all over Europe. You can’t attend them all – impossible. Only choose the ones you are really interested in. If you are a business person, don’t auto-mute technical events. For example, if you are interested in the Analytics space, you might want to attend Data Science meetup. Yes, the majority of attendees will be developers. Yes, you will be likely to see a slide with lines of code that you can’t understand; but there is much more you can gain. Even simply knowing those technology exist gives you a better understanding of the market. If someone asks you “why are you here?” just tell them “I am interested in this subject and simply want to educate myself”. As easy as pie! More…
As a result of the phasing out of nuclear energy and the associated expansion of renewable energies, German energy supply companies are faced with a multitude of challenges particularly in their core areas of generation/trading, sales and the grids business.
This development has been accompanied by the complex fragmentation of the market and an increased demand from customers for individual solutions and above all for technical developments such as highly scalable, intelligent IT platforms. However, this has now all resulted in a further transformation of the energy world – an “Energiewende 2.0” which is being ushered in on a new digital level. This has caused the energy world to become blurred with other sectors. New competitors, especially those with a high level of IT expertise, are forcing their way onto the existing market. At the same time, the Internet of things, new forms of mobility concepts or the vision of an intelligent, networked city are opening up a great deal of potential for the creation of new business models both for them and also for us as a traditional energy supplier.
Inside of the EnBW Innovation Campus
New business models outside of linear developments
In order to successfully position ourselves against the competition in this agile, fast-paced and innovative environment, we have been supporting internal startups within the Group to establish new business models on the market outside of the existing Group structures for the last two and a half years. At our own Innovation Campus founded in Karlsruhe for this purpose, seven teams are now concentrating on the following themes: “Virtual Power Plant”, “Smart City”, “Connected Home” and “Future Mobility”. More…
You want to know why your startup should settle down in Karlsruhe rather than Munich or Berlin? Who better to speak to than Matthias Hornberger – board member of our new.New Festival supporter Cyberforum and CFO of Kizoo – who knows the city better than anyone else. In this interview, we also took the opportunity to talk to Matthias about his opinion of many more aspects, like the way the tech scene has changed over the years or his advice for startups fishing for venture capital.
Matthias, you are CyberForum’s Chairman of the Board, and CFO of Kizoo Technology Capital, an investment company with a focus on digital startups. Which advice do you give a startup fishing for venture capital?
Matthias: Build a great product disrupting a large addressable market with a clear focus and a strong, tech-oriented team. Swing for the fences! The business model of venture capitalist does not allow for investments into small target markets or products far away from having true customer impact. (A solo entrepreneur also does not fit the ideal profile. Especially in tech startups, teamwork and complementary skills are absolutely necessary).
Matthias Hornberger, CFO, Kizoo Technology Capital GmbH | Fotograf: Christian Ernst
Talking process, preparation is key. Create an equity story convincing enough not only for the upcoming round, prepare a crisp pitch deck and then strive to get `warm` introductions. This significantly increases the chance to earn a shot at the can, a date to present personally. Know your counterpart before you enter the ring and – if you lose the bout – hang in there. Stamina is the most important character property of entrepreneurs – young or old. More…
Frank Riemensperger, Chairman of the Board of Accenture Germany & Board Member of BITKOM
Part 1 of the guest article by Frank Riemensperger highlighted a number of issues for many industry sectors, which lead to one conclusion: companies that remain purely product manufacturers will sooner or later be pushed backwards in the performance chain and ousted by a better supplier. Companies that want to grow against this not only need to simply use (more) IT, but also develop business models that cover a product’s entire lifecycle. This follow up article will reveal even more insights on the Accenture study.
The Internet of Things illustrates that the digital caravan is heading clearly in this direction. As soon as our intelligent products leave the factory, they connect to the Internet and are then reachable to many via digital means. Just how enormous and in particular how quick this digital revolution can be for the business models of established manufacturers in Germany is often still under-estimated.
Ultimately, for patients it’s not about the best X-ray machine, but rather the best evaluation of the X-ray image. A diagnosis based on millions of digitally collected reference images can be a crucial support for radiologists.
Now, medical equipment manufacturers can offer such a service in future as an additional service to their product. Otherwise a third-party provider will supply the service. One thing is for sure: only companies that keep (long-term) patients tethered to the digital umbilical cord will be able, with all likelihood, to take charge of their all-round care too. More…
Smartphones are taking over. On trains, in cafés, even while watching TV, phones are our constant companions. So how come journalism has made so little progress towards using the advantages that they offer us? 14 students from the Cologne School of Journalism (Kölner Journalistenschule für Politik und Wirtschaft) are trying to show that good journalism is indeed possible using just your phone. That’s also why they have written this guest article for our CODE_n blog.
What better place to do that than that at the Code_n competition at this year´s Cebit where start-ups are presenting their new ideas in the realm of the Internet of Things. Equipped with their phones, the students are heading to the trade fair, in search of interesting businesses, people and ideas. On Tuesday and Wednesday they have been and will be recording interviews with founders of start-ups, film videos and edit them, take pictures and write articles on their phones straight from the trade-fair floor. The articles will have interesting formats such as Twitter videos, Instagram and Vine, which are more popular than newspapers especially among younger people. More…
The Swiss inventor Frank M. Rinderknecht has been keeping the car industry on tenterhooks for years with his forward-thinking concept cars. Peter Fuss, EY Automotive Partner and chair of the CODE_n-Future of Mobility Panel, spoke to the Swiss visionary ahead of the exhibition about the future of mobility, the danger of a fatal crash for car manufacturers if they fail to recognize the signs of the times before it’s too late, autonomous driving and the need to redefine our relationship with technology.
Peter Fuss: Many of your car concepts have the future in mind. How do you see the future of mobility?
Frank M. Rinderknecht: First of all I think that despite the rise of the Internet and social media, the frequency with which we move from one place to the next will only increase. The virtual world cannot replace our real friends; we want to see them regardless of location. And this places exceptional demands on future mobility. Mobility must become more intelligent. Accordingly, the cars of tomorrow must reduce or eliminate fuel consumption, and they must be recyclable. They don’t belong on the scrap heap! Furthermore, I find it astounding that so many car manufacturers continue to pull wool over their eyes and willingly ignore that fossil fuels will eventually run out and inevitably be followed by skyrocketing gasoline prices. If they’re not prepared when that time comes, a fatal crash could be on the cards. Tomorrow’s winners will be those who have already acknowledged these facts and are working on alternatives for the future. More…
‘We are living the change – the course for change has been set. We’re fully aware of how important innovations are for our future’, as Uli Huener emphasises in our interview. Uli Huener is Head of Innovation Management at EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. This year, EnBW is the new partner of CODE_n, the ecosystem designed to network digital pioneers.
Mr Huener, the energy industry in Germany faces major challenges in implementing the energy transition, not only technologically but also economically. What is your assessment of the pressure for change?
Uli Huener, EnBW: For the energy sector, the extent of anticipated change and need for transformation is unprecedented: there are social and fundamental market changes occurring simultaneously. This places strong pressure on the business models that have historically characterised the energy industry. In addition technology trends such as digitalization, increasing device connectivity / machine to machine communication put pressure on the existing utility business. Classic customer-supplier relationships are changing drastically, revolutionising the industry across the existing value chain. More…